Last week was the culmination of years of preparation as the largest youth festival in Europe descended on Montgomeryshire and Mathrafal farm near Meifod. This was the first time since 1988 that Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s National Eisteddfod visited the area and there’s no doubt that it was a resounding success. 

With around 90,000 festival goers expected to have descended on the area it was a great opportunity to showcase not only Welsh culture and the language but also the stunning landscape of Maldwyn. It was estimated that the event would bring in £6 million to the local economy through business opportunities, holiday lets, caravan rentals and opportunities for food and drink outlets. 

The FUW County Branch in Montgomeryshire were the sponsors of one of the main events of the week, the Crowning ceremony, when the crown is awarded for the best portfolio of work from a young writer. It is a prestigious competition with a formal ceremony to announce the winner from the stage, and as the spotlight moves around the darkened audience, the winner stands up to be greeted and their name disclosed to the crowd. They will have had to keep the win a secret for a few weeks, not an easy task!

We are delighted that there was a worthy winner in Tegwen Bruce-Danes from Llandrindod Wells. Tegwen is no stranger to the Eisteddfod as she won the chair at Carmarthenshire’s Urdd Eisteddfod last year, making her only the second ever to accomplish the “double win”. 

Tegwen composed a piece of prose over 2,500 words on the theme ‘Terfynau’ (limits / boundaries). 19 entries were received and the adjudicators, Elin Llwyd Morgan and Caryl Lewis were full of praise for the winning entry: “This is a simple but powerful story... and without question, is the most polished and sophisticated piece in the competition. The author has a gritty voice and a natural talent for sensing the rhythm of a story. We were both completely immersed in the situation and forgot that we were judging. That is the talent of a writer - to create an illusion that we can believe, taking our thoughts to new places.”

In 2022 Tegwen graduated in Welsh from Bangor University. She now lives in Bangor and works for BBC Radio Cymru.

Our very own Mari Eluned from Mallwyd created the Crown. A renowned jeweller and silversmith, Mari is no stranger to creating beautiful commissioned pieces to convey a sense of place and emotion.

“From receiving the original brief from the FUW team at Montgomeryshire, my intention was to create a crown with a contemporary feel which conveys the Urdd’s valuable contribution and importance to the agricultural communities of this area. Maldwyn has an important place in the future of our culture and language,” Mari explains.

Emyr Wyn Davies, FUW Montgomeryshire County Executive Officer said: “We were delighted to sponsor the crown at Meifod this year. We thoroughly enjoyed the process, and were delighted with the crown that Mari designed for us. The FUW work with people at the heart of rural communities and it was fitting that we were able to invest in showcasing a prestigious award here on our home turf. Congratulations to Tegwen on her win and to Mari for sharing her talent with the nation.”